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The 1st Annual Team Allard Yearling Giveaway is in the books, as they say! Rene Allard became the 2017 leading harness racing trainer in both wins and UTRS% at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and to celebrate, Team Allard gave away lots of free stuff! Dave Erickson was the lucky Grand Prize winner and he won 5% of a yearling with Team Allard. That’s right, no gimmicks, no purchase fees, no expenses or bills….His only hardship is to pick either My Sweet Memory (A Sweet Lou filly) or Bettor’s Account (A Bettor’s Delight Colt), the two yearlings selected to choose from. We won’t put any pressure on Dave just yet to select, as he probably will want to research their pedigrees, scan pictures, watch some of the replays of their sires winning Grand Circuit races and setting world records! There were also 8 Consolation prizes offered up to anyone who signed up, including a set of Tim Tetrick Racing colors; New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Gift Bag; Team Allard custom winter jacket; Brian Sears Hall of Fame Memorabilia, and much more!  All winner’s names will be available at TeamAllard.com. The bottom line is that Dave Erickson has never owned a horse...and now he does. He lives in Niagara Falls, and is within driving distance to a lot of racetracks. It’s never too late to get involved in harness racing and now Dave has a reason to bring all of his friends and family to the racetrack and learn all about the sport! In an interview after accepting his award, Rene was excited about the Yearling Giveaway, and looking forward to doing it again next year.  “It gives everybody a chance to get part of it, and we like to give back to the sport we love,” he said.  About his 2017 Leading Trainer award, he was equally emotional, accepting with his parents and brother, Simon Allard at his side, along with members of Team Allard.  “Growing up, I dreamed about racing horses, never mind getting those kind of trophies.”.  He praised his team, saying it is much more than Rene Allard contributing to his award. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono closes out their 2017 season on Saturday, November 25th.  The Breeders Crown returns October, 2018.   Jennifer Starr with Team Allard

WILKES-BARRE PA - The ABC Garland harness racing gelding ABC Muscles Boy went from the bottom conditioned level at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to the apex in four victorious steps, trotting through the 33 degree chill and overcoming first-over to win by a length in 1:53.3 in the $20,500 handicap trot. Rene Allard trains the career winner of $285,991 in his current hot 4-for-4 form. Rene's brother Simon had driven him in his three previous starts - but he booked himself off his brother's horse and took Panana Republic, the 5-2 second choice, who then proceeded to get into a speedy early battle with favored B Yoyo, with both of the chalk fading after expending their energy early. Laying off the duel was driver Tom Jackson with ABC Muscles Boy, who went on to the lead with an 1/8 of a mile to go, and then withstood hard-charging Wilberforce. The crowd had reservations about "Muscles"' ability to handle the class jump, as he returned $27.40 to win for Allard Racing Inc. and Earl Hill Jr. PHHA / Pocono

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Keystone Velocity set a new standard at historic Rosecroft Sunday evening when he set a harness racing track record while winning the second running of the $100,000 Potomac Pace in 1:47.3. Defending champion All Bets Off was 1½ lengths behind the winner in second and Dealt A Winner was third. Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old gelding trained by Rene Allard and driven by Daniel Dube, shattered the previous track record of 1:48.2 set in 2007 by Nuclear Breeze and equaled in last year's Potomac Pace by All Bets Off. Purchased by Allard, VIP Stable, Earl Hill Jr., and Kapildeo Singh in 2016 after being off the track for nearly two years due to an ownership dispute, Keystone Velocity won for the eighth time in 22 starts this year, adding to wins in the $529,000 finals of the Levy Memorial Pacing Series and $500,000 Ben Franklin at Pocono. The Western Hanover gelding has now earned $800,000 this year. Keystone Velocity returned $14.80. "I had the perfect trip," Dube said. Indeed. While Breeders Crown winner Split The House shot to the front and set an opening fraction of :25.3, Dube paced fourth behind a :53.1 half before picking up the cover of Dealt A Winner down the backstretch. All Bets Off took the lead around the final turn while entering the stretch, but Dube guided Keystone Velocity to the outside and shot past the defending champion inside the final 50 yards. "Second over with those fractions," Dube said. "My horse was really strong today and feeling good. He's a nice horse and he likes that kind of trip. You can tell. At the end of the year to go [1:47.3], that's a nice horse." The Potomac, which boasted three of the top six aged earners this year and three of the first four finishers from last weekend's Breeders Crown, was created just two years ago shortly after The Stronach Group, owners of Rosecroft, purchased the historic Standardbred track from Penn National Gaming. Earlier in the evening, Rocktavius made a bold move to take the lead past a :54.2 half to win the $20,000 Maryland Invitational for driver Matt Kakaley. It was the 4-year-old gelding's second consecutive win and sixth in 20 starts this year. David Joseph

WILKES-BARRE PA--The brothers Allard, driver Simon and trainer Rene, kept their harness racing hot streak at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono going on Sunday, with both picking up his fourth victory of the night when Smalltownthrowdown reduced his mark to 1:53 while defeated favored Centurion ATM in the $20,500 trotting feature. The gelded son of Cash Hall is now four-for-four since coming to Pocono, here performing pocket rocket heroics while lowering his mark, taken last week, by 4/5 of a second for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, VIP Internet Stables LLC, and Bruce Soulsby. An hour earlier, the Rene-trained Keystone Velocity, whom Simon had driven to victory in the Ben Franklin Championship here in early summer, lowered the all-time track record at Rosecroft to 1:47.3 in winning the $100,000 Potomac Pace. Dan Dube handled sulky honors at the D.C.-area track behind Keystone Velocity, who also set a new lifetime mark. As to the team behind the longest-priced winner of the night at press time - c'mon, do you have to even ask at this point? Uknow What To Do knew what to do to overcome post nine in the card's opener, returning $52.80 for a $2 win bet for the Allard faithful. PHHA / Pocono

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - For nearly two years, Keystone Velocity was out of sight in the world of harness racing. But the pacing son of Western Hanover was never out of trainer Rene Allard's mind. Although he had earned nearly $500,000 in his career, an ownership dispute kept Keystone Velocity off the track for nearly two years. But last October, Allard was able to purchase Keystone Velocity - then an 8-year-old - with VIP Stable, Earl Hill Jr., and Kapildeo Singh. One year later, Keystone Velocity enters Sunday's $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft as one of the favorites with victories earlier this year in the $529,000 finals of the Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers and the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Pocono. "He's been great to us," Allard said. "He was always a nice horse. He wasn't injured, he was sound, but there was an ownership dispute. By the time that got squared away he was nearly two years without racing. But he had only raced some 80 times. I look at him now and, yes, he's nine but with the two years off he's like a 7-year-old." Keystone Velocity, from the final crop of stallion Western Hanover and a $3,000 yearling purchase for his original owners in 2009, has relished his second opportunity on track with Allard. The 9-year-old enters Sunday's Potomac Pace with nearly $750,000 in earnings this year. "He's been doing really well," Allard said. "He finished second in the elimination of the Breeders Crown. He's always playful, always happy. We're looking forward to [the Potomac Pace]. He finished fourth last year, but his foot was bothering him a little last year. "There's going to be some nice horses in there. Last year the track was lightning fast and I expect it will be the same this year. I'm looking forward to it." Allard is also looking forward to his renewed interest in Thoroughbred racing. Having grown up on a farm in Quebec with "every kind of animal," and living on a farm now with "ponies, Belgian horses, retired Standardbreds and everything else," Allard is trying his hand in the Thoroughbred world. He recently purchased a yearling for $20,000 at the Keeneland September Sale. "I claimed a Thoroughbred at Woodbine years ago and had another run at Belmont a couple years back," Allard said. "It's fascinating to learn about horses. So I went to Keeneland by myself and walked around on the last day of the sale and looked at the horses there. I didn't even buy a sales book. I just looked at the horses, saw one that I thought looked good, and bid on it." After buying a son of Liaison, a stakes winner who earned more than $750,000, Allard turned to someone and asked what they thought of the pedigree. "The guy said [the yearling] came from a family of runners," Allard said. "Then we talked some more and I found out the guy was [Hall of Fame and Kentucky Derby-winning trainer] Jack Van Berg. It was pretty cool. We started talking. Turns out he knew Billy Haughton and some other people." Allard's Thoroughbred is now under the care of Van Berg and he's looking forward to seeing the colt run. But this weekend, Allard is looking forward to Keystone Velocity adding to his earnings in the Potomac Pace at Rosecroft. First race post on Potomac Pace Night at Rosecroft is 6:40 p.m. David Joseph

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Rocknroll Hanover mare Tipitina found just the right level of competition on Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as she triumphed in a lifetime best of 1:51.3 over "sloppy" going in the $14,000 harness racing featured distaff pace. Tipitina had faced better in her last four starts, finishing second twice, but the last time she was below the level of her recent outings, she had gone wire-to-wire at Saratoga in her previous best of 1:51.4. And with tonight's class relief, Tipitina again showed frontstepping winning ways, putting up numbers of 27.3, 55, and 1:22.3, then gamely holding off the late charge of 26-1 shot Bettorhaveanother by a head, while reducing that Saratoga clocking by a tick. Simon Allard guided the winner of $385,959 for trainer/brother Rene Allard and the ownership of Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and VIP Internet Stable LLC. Tipitina returned $5.60 as the public's choice. PHHA / Pocono

YS Lotus (If I Can Dream) was caught in the fastestharness racing mile of the year at Saratoga Casino Hotel two weeks ago when the Rene Allard trainee finished fifth in an Open Pace that went in an incredible 1:49.2. Last week, the six year old pacer finished third in the $14,000 Winners Over at the Spa and on Saturday night was the 3-5 betting favorite in the feature. Billy Dobson blasted YS Lotus out to the early lead but the favorite paid a stiff price to get to the top, posting a first quarter of 26.4 while racing parked out for the majority of it. The half didn't bring much of a slow down as the public's choice cruised through a half in 54.4 before trying to pace away from his rivals after three quarters in 1:22.1. YS Lotus built enough of a lead that when Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) surged late, it would prove to be too little too late. YS Lotus stopped the timer in 1:51.1 for his third win in ten seasonal tries. Panocchio came up second best while He's A Lock (Wally Hennessey) closed sharply for third. Last week, the finish in the Winners Over was Panocchio on top with He's A Lock second and YS Lotus third. This week, the same trio comprised the triple but it was Allard's YS Lotus who proved best. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga featuring a pick five carryover of $4,563. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 21, 2017 - You didn't have to be a Yonkers Raceway "sissy" Friday night (July 21st), but it didn't hurt. HP Sissy (Daniel Dube, $9.90) picked off pace-setting Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) late in the lane, winning the harness racing weekly $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The race became a glorified two-speed number, with Sell a Bit N, from post position No. 2, leaving around the pole-dancing HP Sissy. Regil Elektra (Jason Bartlett) landed in a three-hole through early intervals of :27.1 and :56.1. Regil Elektra made a second move toward the 1:24 three-quarters, but Sell a Bit N owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Despite getting away rather cheaply, she could not stall the lass directly behind her. "Sissy" was anything but, ducked inside and winning by a half-length in a life-best 1:52.1. Sell a Bit N easily held second, with Lispatty (George Brennan) third. Regil Elektra and tepid 5-2 choice I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley) settled for the smaller envelopes. For fourth choice HP Sissy, a 4-year-old daughter of Up the Credit owned by Claude Hamel and trained by Rene Allard, it was her seventh win in 14 seasonal starts (2-for-2 since hitting town). The exacta paid $46, with the triple returned $119.50. Bartlett, who began the night with 6,997 career victories, went 1-for-11 Friday, so the quest for the next milestone continues upstate at Saratoga Saturday night (July 22nd). YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $2,100 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (July 22nd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,137.14.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

SUMMERSIDE – An innocent comment paved the way for a group of “hobby harness racing horsemen” from the Kensington area to realize a dream. That is winning Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race – the $22,000 Governor’s Plate, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge – at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Saturday night. “It was kind of a fairy tale story,” said Matt MacKay, who assembled the 11-member Red Isle Racing group. “All the dots connected, and it went from a simple joke into winning the Governor’s Plate. It’s a pretty remarkable feeling.” MacKay has owned horses for 12 years, and recalled a business conversation he had with Rene Allard, who is known as one of the top trainers in harness racing. “Rene wanted a spot for the summer for Governor’s Plate and Old Home Week, and he also wants to retire here,” said MacKay. “I ended up being his realtor, and Rene ended up buying a house a couple of doors down from me (in North Granville). “The inside joke is I would look after his house if he found me a horse for the Gold Cup and Governor’s Plate. It was a running joke for three or four months, and one day he called me and said, ‘I found you a horse.’” This is where the four-year-old bay gelding Do Over Hanover enters the story. It was kind of a fairy tale story. All the dots connected, and it went from a simple joke into winning the Governor’s Plate. It’s a pretty remarkable feeling. Matt MacKay Click here for story on the 49th running of the Governor's Plate: Ownership group MacKay reached out to his “hobby horsemen” friends, and within 24 hours Red Isle Racing was formed and partnered with Allard and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Red Isle Racing is comprised of both veterans and newcomers to the industry. “Some of them have been hobby horsemen for 20, 30 years, and never had this chance (racing in a race like the Governor’s Plate),” added MacKay. “There are a few who are new to the business. Obviously, to win the Governor’s Plate with the first horse they had, they are hooked for life. “Out of the 11 we probably had about 100 fans who just came to see this horse.” Red Isle Racing owns 50 per cent of Do Over Hanover while Allard and MacRae each own 25 per cent. MacKay acknowledged this would not have been possible without Allard. “He loves P.E.I.,” said MacKay. “He races for $20,000 US a night in New York, and he is here with us (for the Governor’s Plate).” Click here for related story on Jordan MacKay: Marc Campbell, who drove Do Over Hanover to a 1:53.2 win in the Governor’s Plate, feels it’s great for the industry to have so many Islanders involved. “Until (Saturday) I didn’t know who all owned him,” said Campbell in a post-race interview. “One of the owners, Blaine Thibeau, his kid plays against my kid at the rink all the time. It’s pretty cool.” The ownership group is hopeful Do Over Hanover will get an invite to the Gold Cup and Saucer Trials in Charlottetown next month. “I hope we can get to the Gold Cup, it’s been a big dream,” said MacKay. “Governor’s Plate was a dream, and we accomplished it.” Group Members of Red Isle Racing: Matt MacKay Garth Cole Blaine Thibeau Gordon MacLeod Eddie Doucette Cory Sudsbury Jason Rice Mike James Ron Barrett Don MacNeill Ken Ramsay By Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer Reprinted with permssion of The Journal Pioneer

Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall) was the champion of the three year old colt and gelding division of the New York Sire Stakes for trotters in 2016. Following his championship campaign, Smalltownthrowdown changed connections and moved to the stable of trainer Rene Allard. The talented highstepper made his debut for Allard in Sunday afternoon's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. After using two winning qualifiers as preps, Smalltownthrowdown had post three in the $14,000 Open Trot on Sunday and moved out to the early lead with Billy Dobson in the sulky. The favored Cash Me Out (Mark Beckwith) was relegated to the pocket and tracked the leader throughout. The six-horse feature saw a blanket finish with five of the six separated by only a neck at the wire. When the dust settled, it was Smalltownthrowdown who emerged victorious in the mile clocked in 1:55.2. Boli (Wally Hennessey) hit the board for the ninth consecutive start as he finished second while Cash Me Out had to settle for third after the scramble in the stretch in the feature. Smalltownthrowdown paid $7.60 to win and started an exacta and triple that came back $45.60 and $122.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that starts at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Long Live Rock (Rocknroll Hanover) prevailed in Saturday night's Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. A field of just five started in the $14,000 feature after a late scratch...but what a five it was. Reigning Pacer of the Year Artful Way and invader Luck Be Withyou served as formidable foes for the Rene Allard-trained Long Live Rock who wound up going off as the public's even money favorite. Luck Be Withyou (Jim Devaux) powered out to the early lead and put up sizzling lap-one fractions of 26.2 and 55.1. His first challenge came from Long Live Rock who drew even with him around the final turn before the Allard trainee surged past to win in 1:51.1. Luck Be Withyou was the runner-up while Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. The win was one of three on the night for driver Wally Hennessey who has been on a tear since returning to town this spring. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - The Allard brothers, trainer Rene and driver Simon, are invading the Hippodrome 3R this Sunday with five of their horses entered on the program. It has been another great year for Rene and Simon. Rene is the second leading trainer in the USA, behind the top Ron Burke Stable. Just last week their top Invitational horse, Keystone Velocity, won the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono Downs with Simon driving. Simon has been racing very well at both Pocono Downs and Harrah's Philadelphia and sports 151 wins this year and $1.8 million in earnings while competing against top drivers George Napolitano, Jr., David Miller and Tim Tetrick. With their father Michel the trainer of record in Quebec, the Allard's have five horses racing on Sunday and Simon has eight drives on the program. Sunday's program has four divisions of the second round of the C$220,000 Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old colt and filly pacers. After the third preliminary round, the top eight point earners in the series return on Sunday, September 3 for their respective C$65,000 finals. "With my dad having five racing Sunday," Rene Allard said. "Both my brother and I are coming to H3R because we love to go home when we can and see our friends, family and race fans." The series kicks off in the third race for the colts, where a classic matchup will take place between Wildriverbumblebee takes on C L Sportaction. Last week in the opening round, Dr. John Bradbury's Wildriverbumblebee starts from post two for driver Stephane Brosseau. In his first start of the season, the sophomore colt by Sportswriter, who is now trained by Francis Richard, was in peak form, leading from start to finish in 1:56. Dr. Bradbury bred and owns Wildriverbumblebee, who was last year's Future Stars Champion at age 2. Wildriverbumblebee is the 3-1 second choice in the race as the morning line favorite is C L Sportsaction from post six for driver Jonathan Lachance. Also sired by Sportswriter, C L Sportsaction has been razor sharp this season for trainer Mario Lachance and the C Leblanc Stable. He has won five of his seven starts and is one a two-race win streak. In his last start, he struck gold in the Ontario Sire Stakes at Mohawk, winning in a lifetime best 1:52.4. His prior start was at H3R where he won by seven and one-quarter lengths in 1:55.4. Also in the race is Western Phil (post 3), who was second to Wildriverbumblebee last week and Histoire Enchantee (post 4), who has been second in his last two starts. The seven race is the second division for the colts and featured is another great battle between Rebel Voyager and Doc Semalu. Rebel Voyager starts from post five for driver Stephane Gendron and last week in the opening round he exploded with an impressive wire-to-wire triumph in 1:57.4 for trainer Francis Richard. It was the son of Shanghai Phil's ninth win this year for the ICR Racing Group, who and bred the horse. Doc Semalu goes from post two for trainer/driver and Hall of Famer, Yves Filion. Last week the son of Mach Three was able to get a third-place check against Wildriverbumblebee. The three-year-old fillies get started in the fifth race where YS Tallia takes on Yaris Bayama. YS Tallia is a daughter of Western Hanover, bred and owned by Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation. Unraced at two, she is coming off her best mile ever last week when she won the $50,000 consolation race of the James M Lynch Memorial in a lifetime best 1:51.4 mile for driver Simon Allard. She starts from post five. "YS Tailia won in 1:51.4 last Saturday against some of best three-year-old fillies in North America," Rene Allard said. "And this week we had the option of going in the PA All-Stars or the Quebec Series and we went for the Quebec Stake since the owner and breeder, Yves Sarazin, is from Quebec. It's also with great pride that we race her at home for both the race fans and as Yves will be there and he is one of my biggest owners." We will have to wait and see if YS Tailia wins and if Simon Allard will do his tribute to Herve Filion and stand in the sulky and and flash his Superman shirt. It will not be a "walk in the park" for YS Talilia, as Yaris Bayama will be tough to beat. She starts from post four for trainer, driver and breeder, Yves Filion, of Bayama Farms. Another one sired by Sportswriter, Yaris Bayama won $231,000 last year at age two. Last week she was parked out the entire mile but still held on to finish second to Future Headlines in 1:57.3. The second division for fillies is the eighth race where last year's champion, Queen Elsa, starts from post one for driver Steeven Genois against last week's winner D Gs Elsa, who goes from post three for driver Jonathan Lachance. Last week D Gs Elsa notched her third straight win in just five starts for trainer Guylaine Fortin, who co-own and bred the daughter of Shanghai Phil with Daniel Surprenant. In all of her three straight wins, D Gs Elsa led from start to finish, the fastest a lifetime best 1:57.2 mile at H3R. Queen Elsa has yet to regain her winning form from last year and is winless in eight starts this season, racing mainly in New York. Also in contention will be Sophies Cam (post four). Post time Sunday is 12:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 17, 2017 - Turns out this season's model was a tad faster than last season's model. A third-over Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $14.20) rolled over a second-up, 9-10 fave Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) Saturday night (June 17th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Open Handicap Pace. From post position No. 6, it was Keystone Velocity, the 2017 George Morton Levy Series champ, working out a trip right behind the '16 Levy winner, Bit of a Legend N. Both had their sights set on Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) after that one threw down a rather swift gauntlet (:26.3, :55.4, 1:23.4). Western Fame held a short lead in and out of the final turn, only to get passed by the potent pair. Widest and fastest, Keystone Velocity outgamed Bit of a Legend N by a half-length in 1:52, the highlight of Dube's four-win night. Western Fame held third, with a from-last Mach it So (Brent Holland) and Artful Way (Greg Merton) rounding out the payees. For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Kapildo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and VIP Internet Stable, it was his fourth win (as the fourth choice) in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $55, the triple returned $152.50 and the superfecta paid $2,021. Yonkers returns to Sunday matinees tomorrow (June 18th), with a first post of 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

Settlemoir (Western Ideal) went coast to coast in the Saturday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In his local debut last week, the Rene Allard-trained Settlemoir finished second in the $12,500 Winners Over and subsequently was the 8-5 betting favorite this week as he looked to wire the feature field. Wally Hennessey sat behind the four year old pacer as he clicked off a first quarter of 27 seconds flat. Following an effective breather in quarter two that led to a half in 56.3, Settlemoir wound up having just enough left to hold off the late bid by pocket-sitter Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) who had to settle for second. Bet You (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Settlemoir, who stopped the timer in 1:52.4 for his fourth win of the season, prevailed in just his second start following the claim by Allard at Yonkers in May. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee first post set for 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Lebanon, OH---Charmed Life spoiled the coming-out party for defending Dan Patch Older Mare Trotter of the Year, Hannelore Hanover, with a half-length, 1:53.2 win in the $86,400 Miami Valley harness racing distaff Sunday afternoon (May 7) at Miami Valley Raceway. Leaving from post 7, Charmed Life and driver Chris Page took back to sixth off the gate as Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman) went to the lead from post 6. After the quarter-mile marker, reached in 28.1, track record holder Kestrel (Josh Sutton) tipped out and took the lead before the 56.3 half. Past the grandstand for the first time, Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), the 1-5 favorite, began to make her move from fourth, but picked up cover from Churita (Trace Tetrick) from third. Churita challenged Kestrel to the three-quarters in 1:24.2, with Hannelore Hanover second-over and Charmed Life third-over. "I was following the horse to beat, so I thought I was in a good spot," said Page. "The wind was a factor today and I was hoping she could overcome it." In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover fanned three-wide around Churita with Charmed Life even further out. Charmed Life hit the wire first, followed by Hannelore Hanover, Churita, and Barn Girl. "It was her first start of the year," said Yannick Gingras of Hannelore Hanover. "We qualified her pretty easy. Maybe she was a little short and maybe I could have qualified a little harder. It's a long season." Trained by Rene Allard for co-owners Allard Racing, Yves Sarrazin, and VIP Internet Stables, the 7-year-old Charmed Life won for the third time in four starts in 2017. The win pushed the Majestic Son - Christina M mare's lifetime earnings past $1.1 million. She paid $21 to win. "Rene said if I can just sit chilly, [she has] one run and will have a big kick on the end of it," Page said. "Boy, was he right!" Gregg Keidel

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $24.80) was hard-used early and hard-headed late Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The sport's richest race of the season to date again honored the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway. At the outset of the 30th Levy, pole-sitting McWicked (Matt Kakaley) was-not surprisingly-put into play. He was joined by Keystone Velocity, who from post position No. 4, forged to the lead just after a spiffy :26.1, opening quarter-mile. Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), leaving right outside of Keystone Velocity, was caught three-wide and forced to wrangle back to fourth. McWicked, who had retaken the lead in the second turn, found a :54.4 intermission before longshot Blood Brother (Brian Sears) moved from third. He uncoupled stablemate Somewhere in L A latched from second-over, with even-money choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and last season's champion, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), at the back of that train. McWicked maintained his advantage through a 1:22.3 intermission three-quarters (:27.4 third station), taking a tenuous lead into the lane. However, his night was about to come to a unsatisfying conclusion. McWicked was done early off final turn, but not before taking Keystone Velocity to the promised land of the passing lane. It was Keystone Velocity fighting off the race's other tough mile, beating Somewhere in L A by a head in 1:51.2. Missile J settled for third, beaten a length, with a very-wide Bit of a Legend N fourth and 107-1 proposition Soto (Brett Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. Blood Brother, Pcovocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked completed the order. For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his third win (as the fifth choice) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135.50, the triple returned $593 and the superfecta paid $2,406. "Rene (Allard) and I talked before the race and we decided we had to leave the gate," Dube said. "I was just hoping Matt (Kakaley, with McWicked) could get me to the lane. My horse felt very strong, but I did see the other one (Somewhere in L A) coming." The driver/trainer combination won this race two seasons ago with Domethatagain, also with a two-hole trip. Keystone Velocity A $100,000 series consolation was won by Clear Vision (Miller, $8.40) in 1:51.3. Clear Vision Frank Drucker

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